First half of foot­ball sea­son pro­duces a num­ber of stand­outs

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - ERIC SONDHEIMER ON HIGH SCHOOLS eric.sondheimer@la­times.com Twit­ter: @lat­sond­heimer

As the high school foot­ball sea­son reaches its mid­way point, let’s look at some of the lo­cal play­ers who are liv­ing up to or ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions.

One of the most in­trigu­ing is 6-foot-3, 195-pound se­nior re­ceiver Brycen Tre­mayne of Venice.

“Brycen has been in­cred­i­ble,” coach An­gelo Gasca said. “The thing that im­presses me the most is his char­ac­ter. He brings it ev­ery play, ev­ery sin­gle game — games, prac­tice, class­room.”

Tre­mayne av­er­ages 18 yards a catch and has scored 10 touch­downs in six games. He caught five touch­down passes last week against Westch­ester.

Few knew about his re­ceiv­ing skills be­fore this sea­son. That’s be­cause for three years at Los An­ge­les Wind­ward he played quar­ter­back af­ter in­juries side­lined the first-stringers. He caught one touch­down pass.

Tre­mayne left Wind­ward when it went to eight-man foot­ball.

“It’s pretty crazy,” he said. “I got more touch­downs than I did in my whole ca­reer at Wind­ward. To come here and in one game have five is pretty un­real.”

Tre­mayne is be­ing courted by Har­vard but the grow­ing recog­ni­tion of his abil­ity could lead to a re­cruit­ing bat­tle.

He’s get­ting A’s in marine bi­ol­ogy, govern­ment and ad­vanced place­ment cour­ses in sta­tis­tics, lit­er­a­ture and stu­dio art.

Lo­cally, the re­ceiver po­si­tion might be the strong­est of all this sea­son. There are many im­pact play­ers.

Lance Babb of Montebello Schurr has caught 47 passes for 722 yards and six touch­downs. Mar­quis Spiker of Mur­ri­eta Val­ley has caught 16 touch­down passes. Sopho­more Johnny Wil­son of Cal­abasas has caught seven touch­down passes and av­er­ages nearly 20 yards per re­cep­tion.

The Santa Ana Mater Dei four­some of Amon-ra St. Brown, CJ Parks, Nikko Remi­gio and Bru McCoy has com­bined for 18 touch­down catches. Ju­nior Taj Davis of Up­land av­er­ages 25.1 yards per catch.

At quar­ter­back, the big sur­prises have been Jaden Casey of Cal­abasas and Jonathan Martin of Cul­ver City.

Casey was in­jured as a fresh­man but has stepped in as a sopho­more to lead the Coy­otes to a 6-0 start. He passed for eight touch­downs against Va­len­cia and has passed for 1,730 yards with two in­ter­cep­tions. Martin has passed for 2,075 yards and 28 touch­downs with three in­ter­cep­tions.

Ju­nior Jay­den Daniels of Ca­jon has com­pleted 77% of his passes for 2,037 yards and 27 touch­downs. Ju­nior Ryan Hilin­ski of Or­ange Lutheran has passed for 16 touch­downs with one in­ter­cep­tion.

Among of­fen­sive line­men, Mater Dei’s five-man group, led by Tommy Brown and Chris Mur­ray, would gladly be taken by col­lege coaches.

Tackle Dy­lan Kel­logg of West Hills Cham­i­nade has taken on de­fen­sive ends from West­lake Vil­lage Oaks Chris­tian, Bellflower St. John Bosco and Gar­dena Serra and won the in­di­vid­ual du­els.

At run­ning back, Ti­quan Gil­more of Los An­ge­les Tor­res set a sin­gle-game City Sec­tion record last week by scor­ing nine touch­downs. He has rushed for 1,481 yards in five games, av­er­ag­ing 20 yards a carry. An­drew Van Buren of West Hills Cham­i­nade has scored 14 touch­downs and rushed for 332 yards against Gar­dena Serra.

Alex Jung of Fuller­ton Sunny Hills has 1,571 yards rush­ing and 18 touch­downs. Justin Keel­ing of Moreno Val­ley Val­ley View is at 1,519 yards and 17 touch­downs. Jor­dan Wil­more of Lawn­dale has rushed for more than 170 yards in six con­sec­u­tive games. Al Fisher of un­beaten San Juan Capis­trano JSerra is near­ing 1,000 yards rush­ing.

Among pass rush­ers, Zach Rit­ner of Mis­sion Viejo Capis­trano Val­ley has 10 sacks. Heav­ily re­cruited Kayvon Thi­bodeaux of Oaks Chris­tian and Ab­dulMa­lik McClain of Santa Mar­garita have nine and eight, re­spec­tively. Cole Aubrey of St. John Bosco is near­ing dou­ble dig­its in sacks.

At line­backer, there are few tack­lers bet­ter than Chris­tian LaValle of Mis­sion Viejo. He ex­udes tough­ness and has been cred­ited with 78 tack­les. Ju­nior Blake Ant­zoulatos of Cham­i­nade and Mer­lin Robert­son of JSerra have been re­lent­less in chas­ing ball­car­ri­ers.

Sopho­mores Ja­cobah Fua­matu of La Habra and Justin Flowe of Up­land are pro­duc­ing game af­ter game.

At de­fen­sive back, a true lock­down cor­ner­back has been Olai­jah Grif­fin of Mis­sion Viejo. Sopho­more Clark Phillips of La Habra re­turned three in­ter­cep­tions for touch­downs in a game. The speedy Cameron Jones of Stu­dio City Har­vard-West­lake has in­ter­cepted five passes. Ju­nior Max Wil­liams of Serra is feared as a de­fender and punt re­turner.

Among kick­ers, Jack Mor­rell of Hunt­ing­ton Beach Edi­son has nine field goals. Dy­lan Brady of Santa Mar­garita kicked a 55-yard field goal and booms kick­offs into the end zone.

Thomas Miller of Te­mec­ula Val­ley av­er­ages 44.2 yards per punt.

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